Photo: New York Police Department/AP
Phivos Lampros Istavrioglou, Moncler’s head of international relations is accused of stealing Salvador Dali’s ‘Cartel Des Don Juan Tenorio 1949’ from a New York art gallery in 2012.French fashion brand Moncler’s head of international media relations was arrested at New York’s JFK airport on Saturday night after allegedly stealing a $150,000 Salvador Dali painting from an Upper East Side art gallery last year.
Phivos Lampros Istavrioglou, 29, was handcuffed by detectives at 1.15pm after stepping off an American Airlines flight from Milan following a sting operation to lure him back to the city, New York Post reports.
Istavrioglou is accused of stealing the ‘Cartel Des Don Juan Tenorio 1949’ from the Venus Over Manhattan gallery last June in a crime that made international news.
Sources confirmed that Istavrioglou has admitted to the theft, claiming he did it because “there was a lapse in security at the gallery and he wanted to point it out.”
Bail has been set at $100,000 by the Manhattan Criminal Court following a charge of larceny in the second degree.
The accused allegedly snatched the Dali painting off a wall in the exhibition area during business hours, dropped it inside a shopping bag and strolled out of the gallery, police said.
The following week he posted the painting back to the gallery from Greece inside a cylinder, and police were able to lift his fingerprints following a separate arrest for stealing a steak from Whole Foods, New York last January.
Undercover detectives posed as representatives from a up-market art gallery offering Istavrioglou a lucrative consultancy contract to entice him to return to New York.
A spokesman confirmed that Istavrioglou has left Moncler, which is famous for its luxurious, down-filled puffa jackets.
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